LSM Newswire

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The VSO presents renowned Canadian Horn player, James Sommervill​e

Vancouver, BC – Closing out a history-making month of music, the VSO welcomes one of Canada’s preeminent orchestra leaders and French horn players, James Sommerville on Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31 at the Chan Centre, and Monday, June 2 at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver.

With an eclectic offering of music spanning the last 400 years, James Sommerville, Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic and Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony, will brilliantly lead the VSO through well-known and well-loved works by W.A. Mozart (Horn Concerto No. 3), Maurice Ravel (Mother Goose Suite), G.F. Handel (two suites from his Water Music), as well as a concerto for Horn written specifically for Sommerville by Canadian composer Omar Daniel. 

Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3 is one of the most popular in his catalogue of works for brass instruments.  The work’s trademark characteristic is its variety of music allowing the soloist to shine in virtuosic passages, as well as showcasing their softer, lyrical talents within the second movement’s long and melodious lines.

Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite is an inspirational musical adaptation for orchestra from the beloved miniatures originally written for piano.  From Sleeping Beauty to Tom Thumb and Beauty and the Beast, this 5-suite musical variation of the Mother Goose Stories will have you reliving the tender fairy tales you knew so well as a child.

Handel’s Water Music suites are some of the most beloved pieces from the Baroque-period repertoire.  While the tale of how the suites came to be is cast in legend, a certain truth is that the suites chosen for this program, No. 2 and No. 3, are highly recognizable having been used in numerous pop culture idioms like movies and TV commercials.
Rounding out the eclectic variety of the program is a simply named piece, Horn Concerto, written specifically for Mr. Sommerville by sought-after Canadian composer Omar Daniel.  From Daniel himself on his Horn Concerto, “...One of the central ideas that James came to me with was that he would both perform and conduct the work. There is a history of concerti performed in this fashion, but few in the contemporary repertoire...I utilized two related Baroque dance forms, the Courante and Corrente.  The central Intermezzo was added in the form of a fleeting Presto between the more substantial outer movements.”

In a concert offering new sounds and familiar melodies, it is sure to be an intimate concert experience for the veteran and rookie concertgoer alike.


Fairy Tales and Water Music!
James Sommerville, conductor/horn

The presentation of this series is made possible, in part, through the generous assistance of the Chan Endowment Fund at the University of British Columbia.

Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31, 8pm: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC
Monday, June 2, 8pm: Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver

Mozart The Impresario: Overture
Mozart Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major
Ravel Mother Goose Suite
Omar Daniel Horn Concerto
Händel Water Music: Suite No. 3 in G Major and Suite No. 2 in D Major

Tickets: $26.75-$66 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)
Tickets available online at or by calling VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434

For media inquiries, please contact the VSO’s PR Associate, Caroline Márkos at 604.684.9100 x266


James Sommerville, conductor/horn

James Sommerville is Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Sommerville has conducted many first-rate professional orchestras and ensembles throughout Canada and the USA.  He has led the Hamilton Philharmonic to great critical acclaim in his five years as Music Director. Recent engagements include appearances with Symphony Nova Scotia and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as well as performances leading the Edmonton, London (Ontario) and Québec Symphony Orchestras.

The winner of the highest prizes at the Munich, Toulon and CBC competitions, Mr. Sommerville has pursued a career as a French horn player that has spanned 25 years and has brought immensely successful appearances with major orchestras throughout North America and Europe.  His disc of the Mozart Horn Concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada.  Other award-winning CBC recordings include the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings and Britten’s Canticle.  Mr. Sommerville has recorded chamber music for the Deutsche Gramophon, Telarc, CBC, Summit, and Marquis labels.  He is a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, with whom he tours and records regularly.

Mr. Sommerville has been a member of the Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia and was acting solo horn of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.  He has toured and recorded extensively as an orchestral player.  He is heard regularly on the CBC network and has recorded all of the standard solo horn repertoire for broadcast.

As a guest artist and faculty member, Mr. Sommerville has performed at many chamber music festivals throughout Canada, the USA, Europe and Japan.  Recent solo performances of note include the world premiere of Christos Hatzis’ Winter Solstice in Yellowknife, NWT; the North American premiere of Ligeti’s Hamburg Concerto with the BSO; and the John Williams Horn Concerto.  In recent seasons, Mr. Sommerville has appeared as a soloist in London (with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields), and in Costa Rica, Holland, Quebec, Ottawa and Italy.  In 2007, he performed the world premiere of Elliot Carter’s Horn Concerto, commissioned for him by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Sommerville also tours as a member of Osvaldo Golijov’s Andalucian Dogs.  In April 2010, he stepped in on 48 hours’ notice to perform Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 with Bernard Haitink and the Boston Symphony.  In his spare time, Mr. Sommerville enjoys golfing, cycling, eating and riding his Ducati.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home